Is God jealous in the matters of his worship? Yes

From Matthew Henry’s A Scripture Catechism in the Method of the Assembly’s 

Matthew henryQ. 52. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, are God’s sovereignty over us, his property in us, and the zeal he has to his own worship.

1. Is there good reason why we should take heed of idolatry? Yes: Turn ye not to idols, neither make to yourselves molten gods, I am the Lord your God, Lev. 19:4. Has God a sovereignty over us? Yes: for he is a great God, and a great King above all gods, Ps. 95:3. Ought we therefore to worship him, as he has appointed us? Yes: O come let us worship, and bow down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker, Ps. 95:6. And not to worship idols? Yes: for they can do neither good nor evil, Isa. 41:23.

2. Has God a property in us? Yes: for we are the people of his pasture, Ps. 95:7. Ought we therefore to worship him? Yes: He is thy Lord, and worship thou him, Ps. 45:11. And not to worship other gods? Yes: for hath a nation changed their gods? Jer. 2:11.

3. Is God jealous in the matters of his worship? Yes: The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God, Exod. 34:14. Is he much displeased with those who corrupt it? Yes: They provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities, 1 Kings 16:13. Do those who do so hate him? Yes: Idolaters are haters of God, Rom. 1:25, 30. Will he visit their iniquity? Yes: In the day m when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them, Exod. 32:34. Will he visit it upon the children? Yes: Our fathers sinned, and are not, and we have borne their iniquities, Lam. 5:7. And is it just with him to do so? Yes: for they are the children of whoredoms, Hos. 2:4. But will he visit it for ever? No: but to the third and fourth generation, Exod. 34:7.

4. Will those who love God keep his commandments? Yes: If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, John 15:10. Will he show mercy to such? Yes: for he hath said, I love them that love me, Prov. 8:17. Will he show mercy to thousands of such ? Yes: for the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, Ps. 103:17.


For thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14

From John Flavel’s An Exposition of the Assembly’s Shorter Catechism:

John_flavelQ. 6. What is the first reason annexed to the second commandment?
A. The first reason annexed is God’s sovereignty, I the Lord; which shews that it belongs to God only to institute his own worship, and make it effectual; and therefore to do that in his worship which he never commanded, is sinful and dangerous; Jeremiah 7:31. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

Q. 7. What is the second reason annexed to the second commandment?
A. The second reason is God’s propriety in us: He is our God, and we belong to him; and therefore to corrupt his worship, greatly aggravates our sins; Hosea 9:1. Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people; for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, &c.

Q. 8. What is the third reason annexed to the second commandment?
A. The jealousy of God over his worship and worshippers; so that this sin of corrupting his worship will dreadfully incense his wrath, as it did, Leviticus 10:1-2. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire thereon, and offered strange fire, before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.

Q. 9. What is the first instruction from the second commandment?
A. That it is an heinous sin to neglect the worship of God in that manner he hath appointed us to worship him, as in prayer; Jeremiah 10:25. Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name. Hearing the word; Proverbs 28:9. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

Q. 10. What is the second instruction from the second commandment?
A. That those who suffer for endeavouring to preserve the purity of God’s ordinances, and nonconformity to the contrary injunctions of men, have a good warrant to bear them out in all such sufferings; Deuteronomy 4:2. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you.

Q. 11. What is the third instruction from the second commandment?
A. That it is highly sinful and dangerous to innovate and prescribe by human authority such symbolical rites in the worship of God, as he never appointed or allowed in his word; Matthew 15:9. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Q. 12. What is the fourth instruction hence?
A. Hence we learn how much parents and children are obliged to worship God constantly, spiritually, and agreeably to his will revealed in his word; otherwise the jealousy of God will visit them both in the way of judgment: For as obedience entails a blessing, so disobedience entails a curse on posterity; Exodus 34:14. For thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Songs of the Spirit, The Place of the Psalms in the Worship of God, edited by Kenneth Stewart

Songs of the Spirit coverSongs of the Spirit can be purchased from Peter and Rachel Reynolds Books. It is £5 and the proceeds go to hospices in Scotland. Estimated postage costs are: USA (0-7): £1.80; USA (8-9) & Rest of World including EU: £3.30

A sample chapter is here. View Sample

Songs of the Spirit is an important study on the subject of praise. We need sound teaching on biblical worship. The worship that God commands from us, rather than that which we choose to give to Him. A variety of authors from various Churches have contributed to this volume. They share a common conviction that we must worship God in the songs that He Himself has inspired. “It is the conviction of all who contribute to this book that the recovery of earnest, intelligent and spiritual unaccompanied singing of Psalms in the praise of the church is a major part of the repentance and renewal so badly needed in the church today.”

Another publication called Reformed Worship may also be of interest. It is £1. View Sample

Reformed Worship is a vital guide to Reformed Worship Coverworship. Nothing is more sacred and more important than the worship of God. The Bible must have the pre-eminent place in our worship services. But how should a service of public worship feel and sound when the Word of God has central place and reverence for God governs everything? This booklet describes a service of reverent worship grounded upon Scripture principles. It will be helpful for those who conduct public worship as well as those seeking for worship that truly honours God. It will have a hearty reception where there is a sincere desire to know how to worship God in spirit and in truth. It is extracted and updated from an older publication called The Directory of Public Worship. This updated extract is in no way meant to replace the original authoritative document. Instead, it shows its abiding relevance and may encourage many to read the original for themselves.

Thanks to Matthew Vogan for sending this information along!

“…we mourn over their indifference to and disregard of many important and precious truths of God’s word, and the substituting of human inventions for divine institutions in the worship of God.”

“And while we cheerfully admit there are very many of the Lord’s people in all the evangelical churches, and rejoice in all they have done and are doing for the salvation of sinners, and the extension of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours, we mourn over their indifference to and disregard of many important and precious truths of God’s word, and the substituting of human inventions for divine institutions in the worship of God. Especially is the praise of God corrupted by human hymns, which in the matter of many of them, as well as in the want of divine appointment for all, are unfit for the worship of God—and also choirs and instrumental music in the place of congregational singing. The whole service of praise seems to be arranged as a mere theatrical performance, and intended to please man, not God. By ignoring scriptural and important doctrines, and by not exercising discipline for popular sins, and arranging the worship of God to gratify the carnal mind, the church has been brought down almost to the level with the world, or changed into a worldly sanctuary. And the popular way for the union of all the churches in one organic body, proceeding, as it does, upon the false assumption that the great principles which have heretofore divided, and still divide, the several churches, are of no value, and unworthy of any regard, is a lamentable evidence of the general decline of the life and power of true religion in these times.”

“A Good Conscience”, The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, Vol 8, January 1870, p21-22

A new Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland (RPCS) plant in Stirling

stirling-signThe Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland (RPCS) has announced a new church plant in Stirling! From their website:

“Having been considering since April 2012 the possibility of Stirling as the next location for a church plant, the RPCS Presbytery recently took the decision to proceed and begin holding worship services in the city.

Donnie, Karen and Samuel Mackinnon

The Presbytery has called Mr. Donnie Mackinnon, a licentiate of the RPCS, to be the organizing minister.  Mr. Mackinnon has accepted the call and will be ordained and installed as the organizing minister at a meeting to be held, God willing, on Friday the 30th August 2013 at 7.30pm in the Glasgow RP Church.

This new church plant will be overseen by the Glasgow RP Session until such time as the RPCS Presbytery adopts a policy for the oversight of church plants.

We give thanks to God for this development and are very conscious that “nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” “

Exploring Psalms by Tom Mann

Tom Mann Exploring PsalmsI received a copy of Exploring Psalms a few months ago by Tom Mann available here. I had intended to get it read before now, but it has been a busy summer this year! Here is a review by Amazon and some brief comments from me. Sorry for the long delay Tom!

From the Amazon site: “Exploring Psalms attempts to encourage an appreciation of the Book of Psalms in everyday Christians. The book covers the history of the writing of the Psalms, their usage through the times of the early church. Different genres of the psalms are discussed, including the imprecatory psalms. An emphasis is placed on the usage of the Psalms by Jesus, the Apostles and the early church. The book is suitable for both individual and group studies.” Amazon

This little book is a very helpful introduction to the Psalms. It has many facts and interesting observations along the way, including some useful charts that show the use of the Psalms in the New Testament. The book is divided into short lessons with discussion questions that would be well suited for a Sabbath School class or a small group of Christians who are becoming more familiar with the Psalms. Every chapter begins with an illustration that is always thought provoking, contemporary and applicable to the chapter at hand. Several of these illustrations are very powerful and stick with you! One in particular involved a very expensive painting that was hung in a prison and lost, always visible but rarely noticed. In addition to groups who want to learn more about the Psalms in general, I think this would be a good introduction for a group preparing to study the subject of exclusive Psalmody. It lays some of the foundation for the more difficult work of proving not only that we should sing the Psalms in worship, but that we should only sing the Psalms in worship.

Tom Mann
Tom Mann

“Tom Mann is a teacher, lawyer and mediator who has a love for the Book of Psalms. As a former English teacher who instilled an appreciation in literature to hundreds of students, he wants to share his passion for the jewel of the Scriptures, Yahweh’s songbook, in this little book. As a lawyer and mediator, he wants others to see how God’s law, love, mercy and grace are so beautifully unfolded in the Psalms as nowhere else in the Scriptures.”

Buy a copy! Lets support publications that promote the singing of Psalms. If you get a chance to read it, please post your thoughts below.

“What, then, should we sing to the praise of God? Our own edification and safety lie in singing only the Book of Psalms; not any “imitation,” but “the word of Christ” itself, in the most literal and correct version which can be obtained.”

From Alexander Blaikie’s Catechism of Praise:

“XXI. What, then, is the duty of Christian churches in this matter? In whatever manner governed, they ought, as Protestants, carefully to avoid all unauthorized worship, either in the matter or manner or praise; to abide by that which is commanded, recollecting that all the embellishments and meretricious ornaments, with which human skill invests the matter and manner or our praise, are similar to the armour or Saul when placed on David. 1 Sam. 17:39. They form no appointed part of the “armour of God” in the Christian “warfare,” Eph. 6:11, and they must be cast aside, or we will incur the displeasure of “a jealous God;” spread, under his disapprobation, spiritual death over the churches of Christ; cause his children to weep in secret places; the men of this world to rejoice, and the enemies of Christ to blaspheme.

XXII. What, then, should we sing to the praise of God? Our own edification and safety lie in singing only the Book of Psalms; not any “imitation,” but “the word of Christ” itself, in the most literal and correct version which can be obtained. Notwithstanding numerous minor defects, the Scotch or Presbyterian “version is, upon the whole, the best.” When using it, “we have the satisfaction to know, that we utter praise in the very words of inspiration;” and in the opinion of Boswell, “it is vain to think of having a better.” Of the version of Sternhold and Hopkins, the Rev. Wm. Romaine says, “It is generally the sentiment of the Holy Spirit. That is very rarely lost, and this should silence every objection—it is the word of God. Moreover, the version comes nearer to the original than any I have ever seen except the Scotch.” Some judicious verbal amendments, by the omission of antiquated words, would be truly desirable if Presbyterians could unanimously make them.

XXIII. In what manner, then, should we sing these sacred songs to the praise of Jehovah? Always as an act of divine worship, with the spirit and with the understanding, with our voice, and with grace in our hearts, making melody to the Lord—individually—in families—and in the house of God. Avoiding the decorations of a theatrical and sentimental taste, and delighting ourselves in the word of Christ after the inward man, we will grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; we will come to an innumerable company of angels, to the spirits of just men made perfect, and daily join with them in singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb.”

A new book entitled Public Worship 101 by Dr. Dennis Prutow

Dr. Dennis Prutow
Dr. Dennis Prutow

Dr. Dennis Prutow has recently released a new book on Biblical Worship entitled Public Worship 101 available here or directly from the Amazon site. A previous post on the this website discussed the online course by Dr. Prutow called The Ministry of Worship (syllabus). This new book is part of the coursework for Ministry of Worship.

From the Westminster Evagelistic Ministries RPTS site:

“Public Worship 101 is an introduction to the Biblical theology of worship, the elements of worship, exclusive Psalmody, and a cappella Psalmody. It follows the basic outline of Dr. Prutow’s Ministry of Worship classes with much more detail, including the addition of important historical data. The purpose of the book is to demonstrate that, in Biblical worship, God renews His covenant with His people as they draw near to Him in the place He prescribes (the gathered congregation), on the day He prescribes, in the manner He prescribes, with the elements He prescribes, including the praise He prescribes both in content, exclusive Psalmody, and manner, a cappella Psalmody, using an order properly deduced from Scripture. Whether this purpose is accomplished is for you, the reader, to judge.”

A review of the book by Pastor Barry York from Amazon:

“5.0 out of 5 stars Pastor Barry York, Kokomo, Indiana March 19, 2013
By Dennis J. Prutow
Sadly, when it comes to worship, the Western, evangelical church has its thinking backwards. In both word and action, the modern church displays the common belief that New Testament worship is not as serious as in the days of Moses. Yet as the book of Hebrews testifies, this view is simply false. For unlike the days of old, the concern of worship now is not with the blood of goats and lambs, but with the precious blood of Christ as displayed in Word, sacrament, prayer, and praise. We are no longer dealing in shadows and types, but with the living reality of Jesus.That is why this work by Dennis Prutow is so timely and needed. With the precision of his military mind, the experience of his seminary teaching, and the warmth of his pastoral heart, Prutow offers this salvo into what many have called the “worship wars.” Public Worship 101 offers a solid Biblical, historical, and theological case for the principles of worship as outlined in the Westminster Confession of Faith, with special attention given to the neglected means of a cappella psalm singing. Whether or not you agree with the conclusions, every minister and those in training should wrestle with the case Prutow puts forth. As Jeremiah Burroughs said in Gospel Worship, “Those who enter into public places, and especially such places as concern the worship of God, need to have the fear of God much upon them when they first enter into those places.” Prutow’s work will help those preparing to enter into the sanctuary and the pulpit to develop this much needed fear once again.An endorsement written to the author December 12, 2012″

In addition, Dr. Prutow has authored Joyful Voices: A Capella Singing in Congregational Worship available from Crown and Covenant Publications.

“It is, by being instrumental in the salvation of souls, that the church promotes the glory, and secures the worship, of Jehovah.”

William Symington 1795-1862
William Symington 1795-1862

“It is, by being instrumental in the salvation of souls, that the church promotes the glory, and secures the worship, of Jehovah. Divine worship can be celebrated, and the praise of the glory of divine grace can be shewn forth, only by those who are ‘saved and called with an holy calling, not according to their works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began:’ and this work of salvation is carried on in and by the church. The church, by subjecting the conscience to the authority of Christ, by maintaining wholesome discipline, and by affording opportunity of communion with God and with his saints, tends powerfully to enlighten the understanding, to enliven the affections, to restrain the passions, to promote Gospel morality, and to advance the divine life in the soul. ‘The Lord added to the church such as should be saved.’ ‘He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers: for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.’

Such are the ends subserved by the existence of a church in the world. And it is carefully to be observed, that all these ends are brought about by the mediatorial administration of the Saviour. He it is who sends forth his light and his truth to gladden and direct an ignorant and benighted world; who prompts and enables men to celebrate the ordinances of God’s worship; and who carries forward the work of salvation in the souls of believers.”

William Symington, Messiah the Prince, p145-146

“If we would rise to true elevation of heart in the closet, we must ‘lift up our hands in the sanctuary.’ So necessary is the church to the proper worship of God.”

William SymingtonThis picture is listed on a few websites for Symington, can anyone confirm?
William Symington 1795-1862
This picture is listed on a few websites for Symington, can anyone confirm?

“By setting up a church in the world the Mediator has provided for the public celebration of Divine worship. It is every way proper that some acts of public homage should be paid to the God of the whole earth. The private adoration of individuals would seem not to be all the honour that is due to Him whose claims are so universal and transcendent. He is certainly entitled to acknowledgment in the most public and open manner possible. This is secured by the existence of a visible church, in which his being, perfections, purposes, and works, are publicly discussed; in which his praises are publicly sung, and in which united and public supplications are offered at his throne of grace. Even supposing that, for this end, secret acts of worship might suffice, it may fairly be questioned whether the spirit of such could be kept up, without the influence arising from public institutions. The devotions of the sanctuary, doubtless, exert, and are designed to exert, no small influence on those of the closet and the family. The lamp of personal or domestic piety will send forth but a dim and sickly ray, unless trimmed and replenished by frequent visits to the house of the Lord. When the believer feels those fervent emotions that are represented by his soul thirsting for God, and under the impulse of which he is stirred up to seek the Lord with great earnestness, it is that he may ‘see the power and glory of the Lord as he had seen them before in the sanctuary.’ If the psalmist David poured forth the sweetest and warmest strains of devotion in the wilderness of Judea and in the forest of Hareth, we must go back, for the secret of his high and holy inspiration, to the days when he trod the courts of the temple,—days which not merely exerted a reflex influence on his solitary exercises, but which, so far from making him contented with these, caused his soul still to long, yea even faint, for the courts of the Lord, and to count a day in God’s house better than a thousand. If we would rise to true elevation of heart in the closet, we must ‘lift up our hands in the sanctuary.’ So necessary is the church to the proper worship of God.”

William Symington, Messiah the Prince, p142-144

“For avoiding of idolatry you may fall in the hands of earthly tyrants; but obeyers, maintainers, and consenters to idolatry shall not escape the hands of the living God.”

John Knox
John Knox

“The only way to leave our children blessed and happy is to leave them rightly instructed in God’s true religion. For what avails all that is in the earth, if perpetual condemnation follows death – yea, and God’s vengeance also goes before the same? as of necessity they must where true knowledge of God is absent. And therefore God straitly commands the fathers to teach their sons the laws, ceremonies, and rites. And unto Abraham he opened the secret of his counsel touching the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah: “Because,” says the  Lord,“I know that Abraham will teach his children, that they fear my name.” [Gen. 18:19] Then God would that the life and conversation of the fathers should be a schoolmaster to the children. Plain it is, that the true knowledge of God is not born with man, neither yet comes it unto him by natural power, but he must have schoolmasters to train him up in that which he lacks. The chief schoolmasters (the Holy Ghost excepted) of the age following, are the works,  practices, and life of the forefathers. And experience does so teach us, that the  children are so bound and addicted to the works and practices of their fathers (and especially if it is in idolatry), that scarcely can the power of God, speaking by his own word (as the prophets oft complain), reave or pluck any back from their fathers’ footsteps.

Now, if you, altogether refusing God, stoop under idolatry, what schoolmasters are you to your posterity? Assuredly even such as the cruel and foolish fathers
that, consenting to Jeroboam and to his idolatry, left to their children a pattern of perdition. What image [do] you show to your children; yea, in what estate [do] you leave them, both touching body and soul? Blinded in idolatry (alas, I fear and tremble to pronounce it), and bound slaves to the devil, without hope of redemption, or light to be received, before God takes vengeance upon their disobedience!

I speak to you, O natural fathers: Behold your children with the eye of mercy, and consider the end of their creation. Cruelty it were to save yourselves, and damn them! But O, more than cruelty and madness that cannot be expressed, if,  for the pleasure of a moment, you deprive yourselves and your posterity of that eternal joy that is ordained for them that continue in confession of Christ’s name to the end, which assuredly you do if, without resistance altogether, you return to idolatry again. If natural love, fatherly affection, reverence of God, fear of torment, or yet hope of life move you, then will you gainstand that abominable idol; which if you do not, then, alas! the sun is gone down and the light is quite lost, the trumpet is ceased, and idolatry is placed in quietness and rest. But if God shall strengthen you (as unfeignedly I pray his Majesty may), then there is but a dark misty cloud overspread the sun for a moment, which shortly shall  vanish, so that the beams afterwards shall be sevenfold more bright and amiable nor [than] they were before. Your patience and constancy shall be a louder trumpet to your posterity, than were all the voices of the prophets that instructed you; and so is not the trumpet ceased so long as any boldly resist idolatry.

And, therefore, for the tender mercies of God, arm yourselves to stand with Christ in this his short battle. Flee from that abominable idol, the maintainers whereof shall not escape the vengeance of God. Let it be known to your posterity that you were Christians and not idolaters; that you learned Christ in time of rest, and boldly professed him in time of trouble. Think you these precepts are sharp and hard to be observed? And yet again, I affirm, that compared with the plagues that assuredly shall fall upon obstinate idolaters, they shall be found easy and light. For avoiding of idolatry you may perchance be compelled to leave your native country and realm; but obeyers of idolatry, without end, shall be compelled, body and soul, to burn in hell. For avoiding idolatry, your substance shall be spoiled; but for obeying idolatry, heavenly riches shall be lost. For avoiding of idolatry you may fall in the hands of earthly tyrants; but obeyers, maintainers, and consenters to idolatry shall not escape the hands of the living God. For avoiding idolatry, your children shall be deprived of father, of friends, riches, and of earthly rest; but by obeying of idolatry they shall be left without the knowledge of his word, and without hope of his kingdom.

Consider, dear brethren, how much more dolorous and fearful it is to be tormented in hell, than to suffer  trouble in earth; to be deprived of heavenly joy, than to be robbed of transitory riches; to fall into the hands of the living God, than to obey man’s vain and uncertain displeasure; to leave our children destitute of God, than to leave them unprovided before the world. So much more fearful is it to obey idolatry, or by dissembling to consent to the same, than by avoiding and fleeing from the abomination, to suffer what inconvenience may follow thereupon by man’s tyranny. For the extremity of the one is but transitory pain, and the most easy of the other is to suffer in the fire that never shall have end.” John Knox

Selected Writings, 1:185-86, 189-91

“…the Holy Ghost pronounces and gives warning unto us, that maintainers of idolatry, and provokers to the same, intend to draw us from God; and therefore he wills that we neither obey them, neither yet that we conceal their impiety…”

John Knox

“In these words most evidently is expressed unto us, why God wills that we avoid all fellowship with idolatry, and with the maintainers of the same; in which are three things appertaining to our purpose chiefly to be noted. First, that the Holy Ghost pronounces and gives warning unto us, that maintainers of idolatry, and provokers to the same, intend to draw us from God; and therefore he wills that we neither obey them (be they kings or be they queens), neither yet that we conceal their impiety (were they son, daughter, or wife), if we will have the league to stand betwixt God and us [Deut. 13:6-18]. And here is the confirming of my first cause, why it is necessary that we avoid idolatry, because that otherwise we declare ourselves little to regard the league and covenant of God; for that  league requires that we declare ourselves enemies to all sorts of idolatry. Secondly, it is to be noted, that idolatry so incenses and kindles the wrath of God, that it is never quenched till the offenders, and all that they possess, are  destroyed from the earth; for he commanded them to be stoned to death, and their substance to be burnt; and if a city offended, that it shall be altogether destroyed without mercy. This may appear a severe and rigorous judgment. But if you shall consider the cause, God’s great mercy towards us shall be espied; for thereunto he declares himself [an] enemy unto our enemies. For all those that would draw us from God ( be they kings or queens), being of the devil’s nature, are enemies unto God, and therefore God wills that in such cases we declare ourselves enemies unto them; because he would that we should understand how odious is idolatry in his presence, and how that we cannot keep the league betwixt him and us inviolate if we favour, follow, or spare idolaters. ‘Lord, open our eyes that we may understand the great necessity of this thy precept. Amen.'”

Selected Writings, 1:172

“…whatsoever is added to this word [God’s Word] by man’s device, seem it never so good, holy, or beautiful, yet before God, which is jealous and cannot admit any companion or counsellor, it is evil, wicked, and abominable.”

Knox,_John“We … present unto you … a form and order of a reformed church, limited within the compass of God’s word, which our Saviour has left unto us as only [alone] sufficient to govern all our actions by; so that whatsoever is added to this word by man’s device, seem it never so good, holy, or beautiful, yet before God, which is jealous and cannot admit any companion or counsellor, it is evil, wicked, and abominable.” John Knox

Works, 4:160-61

“I am persuaded that they which retain these ceremonies in a free choice, when they may otherwise do, they are over-greedy and desirous to drink of the dregs.”

Knox,_John“Verily no man well instructed, or of sound judgment, will deny (as I think) that lights and crossings, or such like trifles, sprang or issued out of superstition.  Whereupon I am persuaded that they which retain these ceremonies in a free choice, when they may otherwise do, they are over-greedy and desirous to drink of the dregs. Neither do I see to what purpose it is to burden the church with trifling and unprofitable ceremonies – or, as I may term them with their proper name, hurtful and offensive ceremonies, when there is liberty to have a simple and pure order.”  John Knox

Works, 4:59

“To hear his voice (which is also the voice of God the Father) is to understand and obey the same; and to flee from a stranger is to admit none other doctrine, worshipping, nor honouring God than has proceeded from his own mouth…”

Knox,_John“ ‘My sheep hear my voice, and a stranger they will not hear, but flee from him.’ [John 10:5] To hear his voice (which is also the voice of God the Father) is to understand and obey the same; and to flee from a stranger is to admit none other doctrine, worshipping, nor honouring God than has proceeded from his own mouth – as he himself testifies, saying, ‘All that are of the verity, hear my voice.'[ John 18:37] ” John Knox

Works, 3:40-41; Selected Writings, 1:30.

Online Course on Worship at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (RPTS)

Dr. Dennis Prutow

PT13 – Ministry of Worship

Dennis J. Prutow, D.Min., Professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology

(For Dr. Prutow’s full bio please click HERE)
Ministry of Worship (PT13) is a study of the Biblical principles and practices of worship; and a consideration of public worship services, including the administration of the sacraments and weddings and funerals.

Class Number
Audio File
Lecture Notes
Class 1 Part 1 – Pages 1-4Part 2 – Pages 5-13 Course Syllabus &

Handout 1

Class 2 Part 1 – Pages 16-17Part 2 – Pages 17-19 Handout 2 Quiz 1
Class 3 Part 1 – Pages 20-21 Part 2 – Pages 21-26 Handout 3 Quiz 2
Class 4 Part 1 – Pages 28-30 Part 2 – Pages 30-32 Handout 4 Quiz 3
Class 5 Part 1 – Pages 33-34 Part 2 – Pages 35-36 Handout 5 Quiz 4
Class 6 Part 1 – Pages 37-38Part 2 – Pages 38-39 Handout 6 Quiz 5
Class 7 Part 1- Pages 40-44 Part 2 – Pages 45-48 Handout 7 Handout 8 Quiz 6
Class 8 Part 1 – Pages 48-49 Part 2 – Pages 49-50 Continue withHandout 8 Quiz 7
Class 9 Part 1 – Pages 50-56 Part 2 – Pages 57-58 Finish Handout 8 &Handout 9 Quiz 8
Class 10 Part 1 – Pages 58 Part 2 – Pages 60 Handout 10 Quiz 9
Please Print and complete the final exam and then turn it in. Final Exam

Additional Reading Assignments:

John Calvin, Author’s Preface, Commentary upon the Book of Psalms
The Letter of St. Athenasius to Marcelinus Concerning the Psalms
“The Worship of the Church, A Reformed Theology of Worship,” Committee on the Study of the Doctrine of Worship.
“Psalms in the Worship of the Church,” Committee on the Study of the Doctrine of Worship, June 2004.
Dennis Prutow, “Adrenaline and Worship”
“The Minority Report on Song in the Public Worship of God” submitted to the Fourteenth General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1947
Makujina, Measuring the Music: Another Look at the Contemporary Christian Music Debate.

“How Almighty God is to be worshipped is no trifle to be decided according to human pleasure and preference.”

“2. The Covenanter Church believes that it is sinful to sing uninspired hymns in the worship of God. The Presbyterian, Methodist and many other denominations do not so believe. We are convinced that we can give a valid Scriptural proof for our position on this matter. To us it is not a matter of indifference, but a very important matter indeed. How Almighty God is to be worshipped is no trifle to be decided according to human pleasure and preference. But the advocate of open communion asks, in effect, that the position of the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches be made the rule that shall govern the practice of the Covenanter Church concerning admission to the Lord’s Supper.”

J.G. Vos discussing admittance to the Lord’s table.

The whole work can be found here

Update on the Stornoway RPCS church plant:

Culregrein Mission House, Stornoway

The following is from the September 2011 Stornoway RPCS congregational newsletter:

“It has been 2 months now since services of public worship commenced in Stornoway under the auspices of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland. We have been meeting in the small Culregrein mission house on Perceval Road. To date we have enjoyed pulpit supply from able preachers including Rev David Karoon, Rev Kenneth Stewart, Rev Andrew Quigley and Mr Stephen Steele. Rev David Karoon is from Singapore and was previously a minister in Arran before recently joining the RP Church in Scotland. Rev Kenneth Stewart who is well known to us in these parts is currently the minister of the RP congregation in Glasgow. Rev. Andrew Quigley is the minister of the RP congregation in Airdrie where he has been since 1994. Finally Stephen Steele is about to commence studies as a divinity student at the Irish RP college in Belfast.

For those of you who do not belong to the congregation, we would very much appreciate your prayers as we look to establish this fellowship and along with our brethren in other denominations in Stornoway seek to be as salt and light to the surrounding community and to reach the lost with the Gospel.”

From an earlier post here

From the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland newsletter found here:

“In June 2010 the Airdrie RP Congregation began afternoon services in Glasgow out of a desire to see Christ establish an RP congregation in the city once again. This step of faith, supported by the RPCS Presbytery, was realised on Lord’s Day morning 22nd May 2011 when over 100 people gathered in Thornwood Primary School for the formal constitution of the new Glasgow RP Church. Many in the congregation, drawn from Airdrie, Stranraer, and Glasgow had a real sense of just how privileged they were, conscious of the fact that it has been 140 years since the last RP Church was established in Scotland.

The Rev. Andrew Quigley preached on the theme of ‘The Christian Faith, our glorious inheritance in Christ’. He made the point that for too long the RP Church in Scotland had been known for what it did not do. That, he said, was changing. Now we are becoming known as a Church which proclaims the gospel of Christ. A Church which is prayerfully expecting and working to see men, women, young people, and children converted and then conformed to the image of Christ.

The Rev. Gerald Milligan, Moderator of Presbytery, then put the terms of membership of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland to the 20 men and women who were becoming members. The Church was then formally constituted by the Rev. Milligan as he led the congregation in prayer. After the singing of Psalm 72, Rev. Kenneth Stewart, the newly appointed organising minister, led in prayer and pronounced the benediction. The new congregation has been averaging in the 40s at both morning and evening worship which is a cause for great thanksgiving. We also know of another dozen or so people who have indicated that they will be coming to the church from the middle of June on.”